OpenStack is an open source, multi-tool software platform that enables the construction and management of public and private clouds. Originally launched in 2010 with the assistance of NASA, OpenStack allows companies to add servers, storage and networking components to their cloud with ease. OpenStack provides an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution and aims for simple implementation, massive scalability, and security.
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Why Use OpenStack?
OpenStack gives users the ability to manage a cloud environment quickly, allowing the deployment of virtual machines that handle various tasks for managing a cloud. Providing infrastructure, OpenStack makes it easy for users to quickly add new instances for additional cloud components and resources. In addition, users of OpenStack enjoy other benefits that include quick scalability, which allows users to easily increase or decrease their resources to match their needs as they change.
OpenStack uses virtual resources to run a combination of tools, which are the numerous open-source components that form OpenStack. Once deployed, OpenStack users have access to the components and APIs to access infrastructure resources. Below is a list of some of the main components you’ll encounter in OpenStack:
Provides a way to provision virtual servers (compute instances). Nova supports creating virtual machines, baremetal servers, and have limited support for system containers. It requires Keystone, Glance, Neutron, and Placement components for basic function.
Implements the OpenStack Networking API, providing network connectivity as a service between interface devices managed by other OpenStack services, like Nova.
The OpenStack Block Storage service for providing volume (storage) to Nova virtual machines, baremetal hosts, containers and more. Cinder is component-based and has the ability to quickly add new behaviors. It’s also highly-available, fault-tolerant, and recoverable.
Provides a web-based user interface to OpenStack services. It is OpenStack’s dashboard.
Provides API client authentication, service discovery, and distributed multi-tenant authorization by implementing OpenStack’s Identity API — which generates authentication tokens that permit access to the OpenStack services.